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Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command (CEFCOM)

Canadian Expeditionary Force Command - better known as CEFCOM - stood up in Ottawa on 1 February 2006 as the operational command responsible for planning and conducting all CF operations outside North America, except those conducted by Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. CEFCOM deploys task forces around the world to carry out military operations ranging from humanitarian aid through peace support to combat. Task forces are made up of maritime, land, air and special operations forces selected and trained specifically for their missions.

Under the new 2005 CF structure, Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command (CEFCOM) is the unified command that is responsible for all Canadian Forces (CF) international operations, with the exception of operations conducted solely by Special Operations Group (SOG) elements. Similar to the integrated chain of command put in place under Canada Command (Canada COM), the CF's operational command headquarters responsible for domestic operations, CEFCOM will bring together under one operational command the maritime, land and air force assets to conduct humanitarian, peace support or combat operations wherever they are required internationally.

Headquartered in Ottawa, CEFCOM is also responsible for setting the standards for integrated training and final certification of assigned forces - ensuring that all units and personnel selected to conduct overseas duties are fully trained and ready to do so. Minister of National Defence Bill Graham and Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) General Rick Hillier have identified CEFCOM as a key element of the new vision of the Canadian Forces. It is also an important component of the Defence Policy Statement. The creation of CEFCOM is based on the new international security environment. Understanding that security in Canada ultimately begins with stability abroad, CEFCOM will allow the CF to specifically meet and manage threats to Canadian security as far away from our borders as possible.

As mentioned in the Defence Policy Statement, one of the CF's roles is to contribute to international peace and security. CEFCOM will take on this mandate with a capability to sustain a continuous deployment of up to 5,000 military personnel around the world.

The deployable organizations under command of CEFCOM will include:

  • a Standing Contingency Task Force (SCTF) that will be established to respond rapidly to emerging crises. This high-readiness task force will be made up of existing, designated maritime, land, air and special operations elements organized under a single integrated combat command structure. It will be ready to deploy within 10 days' notice and will provide an initial CF presence to work with security partners to stabilize the situation or facilitate the deployment of larger, follow-on forces should circumstances warrant. The SCTF will also provide a land- or sea-based command element capable of leading a multinational contingent for a period of up to six months;
  • other Mission-Specific Task Forces (MSTFs) will be deployed as required. These task forces, which will be drawn from forces maintained at different states of readiness and structured for longer deployments, will carry out combat and peace support operations. They will be made up of maritime, land, air and special operations elements, and could be deployed as follow-on forces to the Special Operations Group (SOG), the SCTF or as stand-alone contributions to other operations. The MSTF will also be capable of lead-nation status in multinational peace support operations for limited periods; and
  • the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). An enhanced DART, or its component parts, will continue to provide humanitarian support and disaster relief to overseas missions, as directed.
CEFCOM will help ensure the Canadian Forces are more:
  • relevant in the new international security environment , by providing a force better suited to adapt its capabilities and force structure to deal with threats that arise from the kind of instability found in failed and failing states around the world;
  • responsive by enhancing their ability to act quickly in the event of international crises. The CF will arrive on the scene faster, move more effectively within theatre, and increase it's capability to sustain deployments; and
  • effective by providing the ability to deploy the right mix of forces - maritime, land, air and special operations - to the right place at the right time, in order to produce the desired result.

The first Commander Designate of CEFCOM was Major-General Michel Gauthier who oversaw the development and implementation of the operating concept for the new CEFCOM organization. Reporting directly to the CDS, the Commander of CEFCOM will be responsible for the conduct of all overseas operations - humanitarian, peace support and combat - and was delegated the authorities necessary to perform these responsibilities starting February 1, 2006. These authorities consolidate responsibilities currently found under different CF commands including the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, and Chiefs of the Maritime, Land and Air Forces.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:32:45 ZULU